OTRR talks to Wendy Suhn…Rodeo Wife, Barrel Racer and Mother all in one!
Wendy, you barrel race as well, how does this work as far as being a mom, a wife to a steer wrestler and a barrel racer?
I would have to say that I’m just busy. Right now our priority is Todd and his steer wrestling because that pays the bills. The kids and I work around what he needs to do and his travel schedule. Our kids are not in school yet so they are a full time job for me. I also have 4 horses that need ridden every day and one that I will start riding soon. Todd’s schedule can be hectic at times so if we plan on traveling with him then there is a lot of packing, unpacking, laundry, etc. When we are home we juggle the kids so each of us can go and practice and do what we need to do with our horses. I usually have a million things running through my head on what needs done today, tomorrow, or next week either for me, Todd, or the kids….. But if I didn’t really enjoy it I wouldn’t do it.
How do you juggle his rodeos and your barrel racing, do you all try to go to the same rodeos?
At the moment I am only going to jackpots and bigger barrel races – I’m not competing at the WPRA rodeos. I try and haul a horse or two with us when we rodeo and if there is a jackpot close and we are able, we’ll go to that. Otherwise I’ll just try to work that horse at the rodeo arena we are at. But honestly for now, his rodeos are priority and if our events conflict, I usually don’t go or if he is gone and I am home, I’ll try to get someone to go with me to help with the kids..
How hard is packing the trailer when you all get ready to head out?
It definitely takes some thought and planning! I think it is harder than most people would think. First of all, you aren’t working with that much space – maybe an 8ft by 14ft living area for four people. Secondly, you need everything imaginable, especially with kids! You need every type of clothing article from hot weather to cold weather and dry to rainy, shoes, boots, hats, not to mention toys, diapers, wipes, medicine for the kids just in case one gets sick during the night, food for the fridge, computers/bookwork type stuff that you will need, and don’t forget the cat and her supplies! And those are just the things we need! The 4-5 horses we haul with us still need feed, supplements, tack, buckets, vet supplies, medicines, blankets, etc! I have designed our past few trailer layouts so I’ve made sure to put in a LOT of storage in the living area and we have put a lot of thought into the horse area as well so it is comfortable for them too. I usually start packing a few days in advance so I don’t leave anything out and so it isn’t such a rat race in the end. I am a very big list person! And of course if we do forget anything there is usually a store nearby!
Have you ever used one of his horses for barrels and vice versa?
The thought has crossed my mind a few times for a few of his horses, but no, at this time we have never switched it up.
When you can’t go with Todd what is life like at home?
It can be pretty difficult at times. On one hand it is a lot easier to keep the kids on a schedule for naps, eating, bedtime, etc., but on the other hand it is a lot harder for me to be able to do things that I want to do for myself. When we are in TX in the winter months we don’t have family to help watch the kids and I really haven’t gone out of my way to find babysitters… I usually just try to ride my horses when the kids nap or I’ll haul them and some toys to the arena to play while I ride. In SD in the summer it is a little easier because family is close by to help if I ask. I have a great respect for stay at home moms and dads – it is not easy to stay home and take care of kids and household – especially if you have something else you enjoy doing as well – like riding barrel horses!
Please stay tuned we will have more with Todd and Wendy Suhn. If you missed part one of Todd’s interview please check it out here.